The injectable filler market keeps growing, and while options are a good thing, how do you know which one is best for you? To answer that question, you first need to identify what you’re trying to “improve”. Dermal filler can be used to plump up thinning lips, soften folds along with the nose and lips, add volume to cheeks, or “refresh” someone’s overall look.
The one thing all dermal fillers have in common is that they can be injected in a short office visit, have little to no downtime and last a temporary amount of time. Not to be confused with dermal fillers, the popular injectables Botox and Dysport are wrinkle relaxers. They stop muscle movement in the face but do not fill out an area or add volume.
The difference between dermal fillers is their main ingredient and the thickness of the solution. The main ingredient in dermal fillers is one of these three: Hyaluronic Acid, Calcium hydroxylapatite in the form of microspheres, and Poly-L-Lactic Acid.
Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Voluma, Perlane, Restalyne and Belotero are all Hyaluronic Acid fillers. These fillers act like a sponge. It absorbs water and as a result plumps up the area in which it was injected. These are good for fine lines and wrinkles of the face. They’re also good for adding volume to facial tissue, especially wrinkles and fine lines.
Juvederm Ultra and Restalyne have similar consistency and last about 6 months to a year. Juvederm Voluma and Perlane are thicker and last longer, with Juvederm Voluma lasting the longest of the two, up to 2 years. Despite its thickness, Voluma feels softer to the touch under the skin and is more likely to maintain a smooth result. For this reason, Voluma is the more expensive Hyaluronic Acid dermal filler, averaging around $900 a vial. Finally, Belotero is the thinnest and most malleable filler in this category and is best used in the lips. It allows the doctor to shape the lip line as they inject for a realistic, sculptured look.
The main ingredient in Radiesse is Calcium hydroxylapatite in the form of microspheres. Radiesse both stimulates the body to form new collagen and uses the gel and calcium-based microspheres to add volume to the injected areas. The combination approach allows the product to last a few months longer than traditional Hyaluronic Acid fillers but is used to treat the same areas of the face for added volume.
The main ingredient is Sculptra is Poly-L-Lactic Acid. Sculptra’s mechanism of action stimulates the forming of new collagen in the injected area. However, the effects are not immediate, usually taking between 3 – 6 months before improvements are noticed with the final results lasting up to 2 years. Multiple treatments are required, approximately 4 weeks apart and the number of treatments needed depends on the severity of the facial aging. Sculptra treats the entire face and is meant to give the patient an overall “refreshed” look.
Dermal fillers can enhance someone’s natural looks, as well as temporarily reverse the signs of aging in a short office visit. However, like any medical procedure, it needs to be injected by a skilled and experienced medical professional in a sterilized environment.
Although the effects of Hyaluronic Acid filler can be reversed, when you are getting started with any fillers, less is more. It’s easier and more cost-effective to add more once you see the results settle in than to reverse too much volume.